How do I organize myself when travelling back and forth between the Cottage or trailer and home?

This was a question that I was asked this week, and I think it makes a great topic for today's blog.

Get Organized travelling Back Forth Between cottage2FTrailer and Home This Summer 300x300

This is the time of year that a lot of people are continuously moving back and forth from home to cottage/trailers and it can get quite confusing to keep track of all the things you have at each place, not to mention what you bring back and forth.  Inevitably you will end up at the cottage without that important ingredient for Friday evenings meal because you could have sworn you had some there…but in fact it is in your home kitchen cupboard.

Planning and organizing are key in moving back and forth.  Deciding which location is home base for the summer helps in planning…do you spend more time at the cottage and only occasionally go home?  Or do you spend the week at home and weekend at the cottage?  For the purpose of this blog I am going to concentrate on those that are weekend cottagers/campers.

For starters I suggest that you have a specific spot in your home that is designated as the cottage/trailer ‘to go’ location. Have a cottage bin ready to load in this location, something that is easy for you to just drop things in as you think of them thoughout the week. 

In the Kitchen:

Duplicate - The simple answer is to try and have duplicates of all the basics, most people do this anyway.

Keep a grocery list for each place separately – This is key so you know what you need at each place not just what you need.  As most people have phones now, the ongoing lists can be kept in digital format or use a shopping app, there are thousands out there to choose from.  I personally just keep it simple and use notes on my phone.

Take a picture of your fridge and main pantry at the end of the weekend – taking a picture of the cottage/trailer fridge and main food pantry will help you visually see what is there instead of trying to remember at the end of the week when you are getting ready to get weekend groceries in town.  Between this and your list you should be good to go!

Plan the menu - I always suggest menu planning, that is one of the key ways to stay organized and plan for meals and grocery shopping.  Whether home or cottage having a general menu plan will take a lot of pressure and stress of you when its time to feed everyone. Fro more info on menu planning check out this blog – Menu Planning Made Easy

In the Closet:

Keep it there- Keep the main items that are a must have at the cottage/trailer right there.  Especially things like bathing suites that are not easy to live without if you forget to bring them back.  For the very few must haves get accustom to hand washing them so they don’t have to be taken home to wash and possibly forgotten there. There is nothing as disappointing as getting to the trailer only to realize you have to spend the weekend without a bathing suit.

Travel with a basic wardrobe – If you often find yourself Sunday evening not wanting to go back to town, but then fussing over the fact that you did not bring your work clothes with you…then get in the habit of having at least one back up work outfit on standby for just such an emergency.  But in reality you should ALWAYS plan to not want to go back home Sunday night hehe

Give everyone their own travel bags that go back and forth- keep everyone’s things separate and teach kids the responsibility of packing what they want to bring back and forth (with supervision if they are young).  Keeping everyone's things separate makes it easier to supervise what is being brought back and forth.  Just remember to check younger kids bags for the essentials.  We once went away for a weekend and I mistakenly thought my kids were responsible enough to pack on their own.  My daughter had 3 suitcases all packed and ready go, so I just assumed that she had what she needed…We arrived at our destination only to discover that ALL 3 suitcases were full of stuffed toys and blankets…but not one stich of clothing.   Yup, nothing but the jacket that I had asked if she had before we left haha.  Now maybe this was her ploy to get new clothes, but I can assure you that the lack of stores in the area we were left her with just a few basics for the week J  After that I checked or made a list and made sure she had what she needed before we left each time.

In the Bathroom:

Duplicate - This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps and for all us gals have the basics like face cream and basic make up at each location as the possibility that you will forget your makeup bag some weekend is quite high.

Dedicated Travel Case - For all the stuff you cannot have duplicated,like medications, then make sure you have a travel case with these basics that go everywhere you go-  it becomes like your purse and travels with you back and forth.  

Laundry Essentials:

Separate color laundry basket for cottage/trailer - If your laundry facilities are at home and you are bringing things back and forth, then have laundry baskets that are easily identified as belonging to the cottage.  Keeping the laundry that comes home separate from home laundry and setting it aside in the designated cottage ‘to go’ spot will keep you from forgetting it when heading back to the cottage. Always check the dryer before you leave for the weekend.

The juggling of 2 living spaces throughout the summer can get confusing and frustrating once in awhile but the memories and fun had at these summer getaways are well worth the efforts.  A little planning and organizing can go a long way to make the back and forth a little less crazy!

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to stay organized between your cottage/trailer and home?  If so share them with us in the Kaos Support Facebook Group!

Happy Summering!

Kim

WORK SMART CREATE A SPACE THAT SUPPORTS YOUI cannot sit still. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a wiggler by nature. I have wiggled in any chair I was put in since I was a little girl. My body's natural state is movement. So sitting at a desk writing blogs, articles, editing videos, posting status updates, writing a book or any other sitting at a desk task is not a natural state for me. The creative part is there...the content is inside of me. But taking the time to sit still to get it out is painful. (that is why I like doing videos hehe)

When I spend too much time in a chair my body protest loud and clear...sore back, sore hips and just generally feeling yucky. Over the past year or so my solution to that was to avoid sitting at my desk, avoid any work that required me to sit at my desk and generally avoid work that was not hands on and required movement. This year I made a pack to change that. I started a LMI course called Effective Personal Productivity to learn to be more focused and use my time better. Through this course I had to look at all the time I was wasting procrastinating. the lesson was 'time is not wasted in hours or days but in minutes'. I wasted A LOT of minutes avoiding being in my office at my desk. I would start, then get up every few minutes to do 'something'.

Because of that avoidance, I had let my office get out of control. It was messy (yes don't freak but even organizers get messy sometimes, at least this one does). I had moved around some pictures and never got new ones put up, I love plants but not a one was in my office! Because I was avoiding being at my desk, I avoided looking after my space. Because my space was driving me crazy, I avoided it, so it got worse. Because my mind was focused on my uncomfortable desk, I kept the pattern going- I could not work in there. The more I focused on not being able to work in there, the more chaotic the space became.

Once I became aware of what I was doing and what I was focusing on, I decided I had enough of the chaos pattern, understanding the root cause (an uncomfortable desk), I took action and did something about it. I took some time for my office and I to spend some quality time together!

Here are the 10 things I did:

1. First I made the decision to make my office space 'yummy' –I wanted my space to feel inspiring, look great and smell good!

2. I designed my dream stand up desk and then whined to my hubby to build it for me – because he is both handsome and handy!!
Some Assembly Required

ONCE THE DESK WAS BUILD - WHICH TOOK A COUPLE OF WEEKS OF PLANNING, ORDERING AND WHINING- THE REST OF THIS LIST HAPPENED OVER A WEEKEND!

 3. I decluttered old paperwork that had gathered and got rid of junk that came out of my old desk, as I cleaned it out preparing for a move to the new stand up desk.

Sort Purge4. Since I was in the mood, I also cleaned out the office closet and reorganized it.

5. I watched a marathon of Netflix to keep me company, mindless stuff that played in the background as I worked.

6. I opened the window to let some fresh air flow into the space.

7. I went and reclaimed a favourite painting to hang above my desk.

8. I went out and bought a couple of plants.

9. I posted my old desk on Kijiji and sold it!

SOLD

10. I sat in my office Sunday night, vanilla candle burning to fill the air with sweet scent and I planned my week…feeling tired but inspired once more!

I am now the proud owner of the most beautiful, practical stand up desk a girl could want in an office that inspires me to take action. I can stand, wiggle, dance all I want and STILL get work done. I am wiggling as I write this post lol.

stand up desk

So this is a reminder to pay attention to your own habits and body. Figure out what you need and create a space to work that supports you. Create the space you need to work comfortably and that promotes your own health. Standing desks are awesome, we are not meant to sit for long periods of time (well at least I am not)!

What issues are you dealing with that seem to be a habit that stops you from being your most awesome? Do you need to fix your work area? declutter? Get organized? Get focused? If so give me a call, I can help! My Declutter Packages are customized to your needs and takes you through my 6 step process to get you on track and working smart.

Kim

Spring has sprung, the grass is rise, I wonder where my garden rake is? I know it is here somewhere?  Normally this conversation with yourself results in the decision that it is time to clean out the garage.

Alarm clock rings, time to start the day! You crawl out of bed…stagger into the kids room and poke them awake…make your way back to your room and start to get ready for the day…go

back into kids room and poke again… a bit harder as this time you really mean they need to get up! Then the day begins for real. “Mom? Where are my pants? I can’t find any clean socks! What’s for lunch? I need $10 for a field trip! Where’s the permission slip?” and the litany goes on.

Does this sound familiar to you? Most parents have had days like this and I know that for a lot of you this type of day happens all too often. Days full of frustration, chaos and tears! Are you ready to calm this chaos and create a routine for a smooth weekday morning transitions?

The answer to having a calm morning begins the night before! Creating an evening routine that includes planning for the next morning will deal with most of these issues, stop the tears, and end the frustration.

Here are some solutions to avoid Morning Madness days:

1. Plan lunches during the clean-up period after supper. Pre-package anything that can be prepared ahead of time and pack all non-refrigerated items in lunch bags at that time. Create a designated place on your kitchen counter for lunch bags. Getting the kids involved in helping pack their lunch bags and ready to go for the morning will allow them to make a few choices that they’ll be happy to eat the next day. All that should be left to do the next morning is to take things out of the fridge and heat up any hot items to go into their lunch bags.

2. Get all school paperwork signed before bed and check your main calendar to see if there are any special activities planned for the next day.

3. Pack school bags with any special needs for the next day such as gym clothes, sports equipment needed for after school activities and any signed paperwork (see #2).

4. Pick out your children’s school clothing for the next day, dealing with any laundry issues before bed. (You know, “But Mom, those aren’t my favourite jeans!” drama). Better to discover that the night before than at 7:00 am the next morning!

5. Plan breakfast the night before, ensuring everyone gets a good start to their day. Even if they will be eating on the run, plan what they will eat and have it ready to prepare so they get something into their tummy before school! I have one kid who does not do mornings very well. We have had to learn to accommodate her natural “I hate morning” behaviour by being prepared to give her something to eat as she gets dressed, otherwise she would not eat anything at all. (She just will not sit and eat breakfast as it takes away from that extra minute of sleep she feels she needs! LOL)

Dealing with the root causes of the dreaded Morning Madness Syndromes the night before can ease morning chaos and can make for a much less stressful and more peaceful start to the day!

Another journey is beginning in your life and the decision to sell your house has been made. Now what, is always the question. Where do you start?

As a Professional organizer I love and need systems and processes in my life, and getting organized to sell my house is no different. I need a list and to know what comes next.

So here is where I start:

First on the list is getting the house ready for sale, this happens before you ever let anyone even a real-estate agent see the house. My sister and I have a great track record for getting a house sold. It has never taken more than two weeks to find a buyer (okay results may not be typical but that has been our experience) what you don’t know or see is the weeks of work that went into the house BEFORE we ever listed it.